New COVID-19 Grants For Self-Employed, Eligible Workers, Drivers

Two new programs aimed at helping low- and middle-income workers and the self-employed, as well as taxi and private rental car drivers have been unveiled.

The Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) announced today (December 16) that the Covid-19 stimulus grant will be launched on January 18.

On the other hand, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said the new Covid-19 Driver Relief Fund will replace the current Special Relief Fund for Taxi and Private Rental Car Drivers from January 2021.

COVID-19 Recovery Grant

The Covid-19 take-back grant focuses on low- to middle-income workers and the self-employed.

As part of the Covid-19 Recovery Grant, eligible Singaporeans and permanent residents aged 21 and over will receive up to S $ 700 per month for three months.

This applies to those who have been made redundant, have had their contracts terminated or put on unpaid leave for at least three consecutive months.

Those who face a pay cut of at least 50 percent on average for three consecutive months will receive up to S $ 500 per month for three months.

Freelancers or freelancers are also eligible for a grant of up to S $ 500 per month.

However, they must have suffered a loss of net business income of at least 50% from their average income in 2019.

For all applicants, the loss of job, loss of income or unpaid leave is expected to have occurred after January 23 of this year – the day the first case of Covid-19 was detected in Singapore.

In addition, under the new grant, applicants’ gross monthly household income must not exceed S $ 7,800 or a per capita monthly income of S $ 2,600 before being affected by the pandemic.

Applications for the COVID-19 recovery grant will be open from January 18 to December 31 of next year.

Eligible individuals can apply for the grant online.

COVID-19 Driver Relief Fund

hail driver ride singapore
Image Credit: Five Stars and a Moon

Taxi and private rental car drivers are among the groups hardest hit by the pandemic, as travel and tourism have been severely muted in the country.

Therefore, active taxi drivers and private rental cars will be supported by LTA’s new Covid-19 Driver Relief Fund.

Under the new fund, taxi and private rental car drivers are expected to receive an additional $ 133 million in government support.

This is in addition to S $ 55 million already committed to the Special Relief Fund, LTA said in a press release.

The new program will replace the Special Relief Fund that was launched in February.

Under the Covid-19 Driver Relief Fund, drivers will receive S $ 600 per vehicle per month between January and March and S $ 450 between April and June.

About 52,000 drivers who are currently eligible for the Special Relief Fund will automatically transfer to the COVID-19 Driver Relief Fund in January.

Featured Image Credit: dollars and senses, time

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Jothi Venkat

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